Shortly after its launch in September 2017, Fortnite took over the lives of millions of teenagers around the world, becoming what was definitely the biggest gaming hype of 2018. By March 2019, Fortnite had amassed 250 million registered players and despite being free-to-play, the cross-platform game also turned into a major financial success for its developer Epic Games.
According to a recent report by SuperData, a digital gaming research company belonging to Nielsen, the game generated $1.8 billion in revenue last year, following up strongly on its record-breaking 2018. Digital games revenue, incl. mobile games as well as PC and console games delivered digitally, amounted to $109.4 billion last year, including $64.4 billion from mobile games. Interestingly, free-to-play titles accounted for the lion’s share of that total, with players spending $87.1 billion on additional features and virtual goods for their favorite games.
As the following chart shows, Fortnite was the biggest free-to-play title of 2019, but it was by no means the only cash cow of the growing industry. According to SuperData, all ten highest-grossing free-to-play games passed the billion-dollar mark in 2019, underlining that freemium is the biggest trend in game monetization.